Self-Monitoring, Opinion Leadership and Opinion Seeking: a Sociomotivational Approach
In complex markets characterized by abundant choice, many people assume the roles of opinion leaders and opinion seekers. Understanding people who gravitate toward these roles is a priority for consumer psychologists, because the effectiveness of large-scale persuasion often depends on word-of-mouth or peer-to-peer communication. In this study we tested a model, inspired by prior research, that included self-monitoring, status motivation and belonging motivation as predictors of both opinion leadership and opinion seeking. Self-monitoring was a significant predictor of opinion leadership and status motivation mediated this relationship. Self-monitoring was not a significant predictor of opinion seeking, but belonging motivation was. The study highlights motivations associated with self-monitoring and also suggests that the sociomotivational bases of opinion leadership and opinion seeking differ.